Blood test diagnosis

A new blood test developed at Pittsburgh University may hold the key to diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease relatively inexpensively.  Results published in the journal Brain show that the test reliably detects a biomarker called “brain-derived tau”, using an antibody that selectively binds this protein found specifically in the blood of people with Alzheimer’s.  “At present, diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease requires neuroimaging,” said senior author Thomas Karikari.  “Those tests are expensive and take a long time to schedule, and a lot of patients don’t have access to MRI and PET scanners,” he said, adding that the development of simple tools detecting signs of Alzheimer’s in the blood promised to improve the accessibility of diagnostic tools.  A larger-scale study of the effectiveness of the blood test is now planned.